EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I really love the Environmental Working Group and the reports they produce. Its findings go a long way to help consumers dig through all of the jargon and figure out what chemicals are in everyday products. The EWG’s 2012 Guide to Healthy Cleaning is my new favorite.

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to decode a label in the middle of a store aisle and having no idea whether or not a product is going to bring unwanted chemicals into your home. But thanks to the EWG, now you don’t have to do that. The group tested more than 2,000 cleaning products for actual ingredients, disclosure of those ingredients and any harmful effects. They graded each of the products and categorized them on their website. It’s completely user-friendly.

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New Pinterest Board!

There’s now a Method Wellness board on Pinterest! Click the link below and follow the board for more great tips on natural living a modern world.


Olive Oil as a Cleanser

Image courtesy of dusky/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This may sound a little counterintuitive, but I’ve been washing my face with oil. Not an oil wash from a cosmetics company, but olive oil from my kitchen cabinet. And I’ve been pretty pleased with the results.

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At-Home Workout Picks

One of my friends recently asked me what Pilates DVDs or online videos I like. Personally, I do better with group fitness classes, but I like to have a few options at home in case I’m in a pinch. One that my husband and I both like is Mari Winsor’s Winsor Pilates 20 minute workout. It’s a great classical Pilates set that, done right, is a good workout in only 20 minutes.

My other favorite is MyBarre3.com. Sadie Lincoln is one of my favorites and she’s taken at-home workouts to a new level. The site is constantly adding routines that target different areas and run different lengths meaning there is a perfect video for every situation. They only catch is that it requires a monthly description.

I think the instruction on MyBarre3 and in the Winsor Pilates DVDs are pretty clear, even for someone newer to the workouts.

Path to Wellness

After a nice, long maternity leave I’m ready to get back into a routine. I’ve found myself searching for a new normal when it comes to wellness. Gone are the days of walking miles around New York City and taking and teaching fitness classes regularly. Little Baby A was born on April 27th so it’s high-time I get back into the swing of things. For me, I’d like that to include staying fit and eating healthy. Thankfully, I found Ellwood Thompson’s Get Well Challenge to help me get on the right track.

I was one of the lucky 30 chosen to participate in three months of free fitness classes, nutritional counseling and weekly weigh-ins. If this doesn’t motivate me to create a lifestyle filled with healthy habits, I’m not sure anything will. I like that the program is long enough that going to classes and watching what I eat becomes routine. I’ve read that it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to become sustainable, so it’s comforting to know I’ll have the motivation of this program to get me through that period of time.

The program started last Monday with a big meeting to get to know the generous providers around Richmond who are offering free classes, advice and encouragement to us. We were given a food journal and signed up for our initial body fat assessment & weigh-in and our initial 15-minute consult with a dietician.

We were given a BIA, or Body Impedance Assessment this week, where electrodes were hooked up to my hands and feet. I learned my body fat percentage, BMI and how much water was in my cells. Let’s just say that all of those measurements need to improve. Interestingly, I measured an inch and a half under my tallest height measurement. I attribute this to my hiatus from Pilates. I think I’ll measure taller by the end of the program, once I’m back into a fitness routine.

We were also asked to attend a goal-setting seminar. I was really inspired by the other women in the class. It motivated me to talk to them. I’ll be sharing my goals here and updating my progress. My meeting with the nutritionist is next week. In the meantime, I’m food-journaling everything on myfitnesspal.com. It’s a pretty awesome site if you’re looking to count calories.

So, here’s what I’m looking to accomplish:


  • Set weekly goals every Sunday and revisit last week’s goals


  • Lose 4 lbs. by 10/30/12 (We have a photo session scheduled that day for Baby A’s six-month birthday).
  • Incorporate more vegetables into my diet. Have a vegetable side with dinner at least 4 nights during the week.


  • Lose 10 lbs. by the end of the GWC on 12/24/12.
  • Establish a routine where I am not going more than 2 days without exercising.
  • Reduce body fat by 10%.


  • Lose 16 lbs. by 4/22/13 – my birthday.
  • Continue a consistent exercise routine.

Spa – Turkish Style

While recently in Istanbul, I made a point to visit a local Hamam, or Turkish bath. We decided to go to the Cemberlitas Hamam. It is a little more touristy, but still offered the traditional service of a scrub and oil massage. This hamam was built in 1584 by famed Turkish architect Sinan. It has identical separate spaces for men and woman.

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